Product reviews, deals and the latest tech news

D&D announces new licencing terms amidst criticism from the public

The newest edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License, OGL 1.2, was announced on the DnD Beyond website by Kyle Brink, the executive producer of D&D. Brink emphasised that unlike the more restricted OGL 1.1 that was disclosed last week, this version of the licence does not include any ownership, royalty, or income reporting obligations.

Before its self-imposed deadline of Friday, January 20th, Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), the Dungeons & Dragons publisher owned by Hasbro, issued the revised draught. Playtesting, as it is called in the tabletop gaming world, will be a part of the process for OGL 1.2, unlike the previously released draught.

The fact that the new licence was designed to replace the previous OGL 1.0a and might be applied retrospectively to all material and goods produced under the licence is a significant source of anxiety for the D&D community.

For the first time, WOTC specifies that the new OGL 1.2 will have no effect on previously released material. Brink assured the group, “Nothing will affect any material you have previously released under OGL 1.0a.” This will always be released under the Open Generic License version 1.0a. What you own belongs to you. Brink stated in the statement that the original OGL is being deauthorized so that WOTC can implement the safeguards against the publication of harmful, discriminatory, or unlawful information that are outlined in OGL 1.2. Brink emphasised the need of creating a fun, safe environment for all children to play in. This is very essential to us, but we have no way of guaranteeing it under OGL 1.0a.

The basic D&D game mechanics will be released under a Creative Commons licence, which WOTC announced with the Open Game License version 1.2. It’s a move that’s sure to regain some popularity among the D&D fandom. Creative Commons, a charity with the stated mission of removing “legal impediments to the sharing of information and creativity,” has agreed to take up the long-term care of the Dungeons & Dragons core rules and mechanics, removing them from the purview of WOTC.

Through a Creative Commons licence, “we’re releasing the essential D&D mechanisms to the community,” Brink added. “OGL 1.2 will grant you with a permanent, irrevocable licence to utilise authentically D&D stuff from the SRD, such as owlbears and magic missile.”